If you are just starting wear jeans/skirt and just be comfortable. More important, wear smooth soled shoes/boots. You can get by with sneakers, but having shoes that spin is a big plus.
If you are unsure if you will remember the dance, go to the middle. If you stay on the outside, every fourth time around you will end up as a leader. Not a huge deal, but there is less stress in the middle
First, are you going to a club? where there is a bar serving drinks and the patrons can take the drinks (although encouraged not to) on the floor? Basically, line dancing is nice jeans,not necessarily tight jeans nor those baggy saggy loose things either, a shirt your comfortable in (many of the guys will have a second clean shirt in the car to change if they sweat through the first one) and many wear boots - essential if your in a CW club. Hats? hmmm depends on wear your going. Try to visit or call before you get there - they will give you a heads up. Don't break in your shoes the first time you line dance. Walk around in them at home or wear comfortable shoes you already have until you check out the scene and decide what you want to wear. Sneakers are ok at some places but you'll get "stuck" trying to pivot and turn even if it is a beginner line dance pattern. If you have shoes that are not a rubber based sole that will stick to the floor. Most places to CW line dance have hardwood floors. Hope this helps.
My name is Jamie Whalley and I am a representative of Masters In Line, part of World Dance Masters, an internationally recognised Line Dance organisation started 8 years ago by 4 of the biggest UK Line Dance personalities. I personally have been a social Line Dancer for 15 years.
Social Line Dancing is supposed to be one thing.... FUN. So in essence wear what ever you feel comfortable moving in. Most classes now have much more relaxed policies on dancewear, however as stated above, please do check in advance as it may be a strictly "country" class where jeans, boots or dance shoes and hats are the in thing, or could be what we call "newline" i.e. line dancing to modern hits/hiphop/rnb/pop/dance etc so trainers/dance trainers, any type of pant or top may be suitable.
If you require dance shoes/boots, Linedancer Magazine has a selection of specially made boots/shoes/trainers specifically tailored to Line Dancing. They also have a selection of advertisements for Line Dance wear stockists around the country, so there may be somewhere close to you.
For competitive Line Dancing, depending on the governing body rules differ. For the most part boots would be worn (however there are an array of competition boots more flexible than rigid country and western boots), and latin shoes/dance sneakers may be worn for specific dances.